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Bebop - Released September 24, 2021 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 28, 2021 | HighNote Records

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On his sixth HighNote album, pianist George Cables displays the immense harmonic warmth and swinging precision that one would expect from a journeyman master with an over-40-year-long career. Having famously honed his skills alongside such legendary players as Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, and Freddie Hubbard, Cables (who Art Pepper dubbed "Mr. Beautiful" due to how much he loved his playing) has been leading his own groups on and off since the '70s. Beginning in the 2010s, he formed a lasting trio with bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Victor Lewis, both equally seasoned veterans. Together, they play an urbane and highly engaging brand of jazz that is the epitome of acoustic post-bop. It's a sound steeped in the modern jazz tradition, but one which continually seeks for greater harmonic and lyrical clarity. Cables leads his bandmates with deftness and grace, contrasting his thick block chords with tumbling multi-note runs. It's a virtuosic style that's particularly evident on standards, including their galloping reading of the 1956 title track and their brisk take on the Guys and Dolls classic "I've Never Been in Love Before." However, it's on his original compositions, including the glistening Latin number "This Is My Song" and the Dave Brubeck-esque 3/4 piece "Circle of Love" that Cables and his trio truly shine. This isn't music that pushes boundaries, or challenges your ears with harsh dissonance -- that's not the point. With his trio, Cables has more nuanced and subtle goals in mind. Too Close for Comfort is an album that sparkles with deep creativity and intelligence, reminding you how engaging and beautiful acoustic jazz can be. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Bebop - Released April 9, 2021 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released February 12, 2021 | HighNote Records

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A companion piece to his 2021 interview book Griot: Examining the Lives of Jazz's Great Storytellers, Griot: This Is Important! finds trumpeter Jeremy Pelt playing songs inspired by some of his most potent interviews. Here, we get intimate and thought-provoking insights from many of the artists featured in the book, including Paul West, JD Allen, Harold Mabern, Rene Marie, and others. Each conversation is accompanied by an original work from Pelt and his quintet with vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Vicente Archer, and drummer Allan Mednard. Musically, these are some of the most lyrical and harmonically lush songs Pelt has recorded and work in unison with the spoken interview tracks. Some tracks, including Pelt's own introduction to the album, as well as his conversation with pianist Bertha Hope, find him underscoring the words with music. Elsewhere, he presents the conversations on their own without musical accompaniment and then follows with an instrumental track. Many of these conversations delve into issues of racial and cultural identity, and Pelt's music is fittingly nuanced. Often his songs reflect the subject matter of the interview, as on "Carry Christ Wherever You Are," which follows his conversation with bassist Paul West discussing his Lutheran minister father. Similarly, Pelt's "A Beautiful (F*cking) Lie" follows his interview with vocalist René Marie discussing her dissonant feelings surrounding her identity as a black American. While Pelt's music certainly stands on its own, the interviews included on Griot: This Is Important! help to frame the deep sense of community and tradition that inspired it. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Bebop - Released February 12, 2021 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released June 26, 2020 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 29, 2020 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 29, 2020 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released January 24, 2020 | HighNote Records

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Jazz trumpeter Jeremy Pelt has explored a variety of settings on his albums, from driving acoustic hard bop to electrified funk and even electronic music. With 2020's dusky The Art of Intimacy, Vol. 1, he shifts gears yet again, settling into a drummerless trio format on a warmly attenuated set of ballads. The album is stark contrast to his ambitious 2019 effort, The Artist, which found him drawing inspiration from the sculptures of Auguste Rodin. Where that album showcased his ear for harmonically expansive post-bop in the vein of Woody Shaw, here he strips his approach down to the essentials. Joining him are two highly regarded jazz veterans, pianist George Cables and bassist Peter Washington. Both players have a long association with the trumpeter, including Washington being the godfather of Pelt's son and Cables having known him since right after he graduated from Berklee in the late '90s. The trio bring all of that musical and life experience to bear here on a mix of originals and lesser-played standards. The album opens with Pelt's deceptively straight-forward "Love Is Simple." Built around a lyrical, twice-repeated eight-bar phrase, the song nonetheless affords the band plenty of room to stretch out. From there, they wrap themselves in the languid glow of the Rodgers and Hart classic "Little Girl Blue," with Cables framing Pelt's fuzzy trumpet lines in delicately reharmonized chords and Washington offering a warm bowed solo. Similarly enveloping are Pelt's Harmon-muted songs, including "Always on My Mind" (the Johnny Green/Norman Newell song, not the Willie Nelson tune) and the soulful Lee Adams and Charles Strouse composition "I've Just Seen Her" from the 1962 musical All American. Elsewhere, they offer a far-eyed and bluesy reading of Cables' "Ebony Moonbeams" and cull ever richer emotional veins out of Lucky Thompson's "While You Are Gone." Pelt and Washington even pare down to a duo for the wryly improvised and painterly slow-blues "Ab-o-lutely." A perfect example of the less-is-more philosophy, The Art of Intimacy, Vol. 1 maximizes the personal and musical connections between Pelt and his trio bandmates. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Bebop - Released December 6, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released August 30, 2019 | HighNote Records

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In the mid-1980s, Wallace Roney’s youthful virtuosic trumpet playing fascinated post-bop fans. So much so that he was recognised by a certain Miles Davis and even joined him on stage in Montreux in 1991. Three years after the master died, Davis’ faithful companions from his historic quintet - Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams - even suggested that Roney should play the trumpet on the album A Tribute to Miles (1994). Despite having such a hard act to follow, the Philadelphia native nevertheless managed to assert himself as a significant force on the jazz scene... One year after his 60th birthday and with more than twenty albums to his credit as a bandleader, Wallace Roney is still contributing to this impeccable blend of hard bop and post-bop. And with Blue Dawn - Blue Nights, this time he is the master. A master who surrounds himself with younger stars such as the pianist Oscar Williams II (31 years old), bassist Paul Cuffari (20 years old), saxophonist Emilio Modeste (19 years old) and his nephew, the drummer Kojo Odu Roney (only 15 years old!). The group is supported on some tracks by guitarist Quintin Zoto as well as Lenny White, the legendary drummer who played for Chick Corea’s band, Return to Forever, and for Miles Davis from the Bitches Brew period. And to further highlight his young accomplices, Wallace Roney has chosen not to sign any of the eight themes on his refined album. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Bebop - Released July 26, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 24, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 24, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Jazz - Released March 8, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Tom Harrell is a master at making his trumpet sound pure, clear and graceful in a manner like no one else. When he plays, he projects an intense feeling of well-being and engages in inspired and lively improvisations. On his latest record, Harrell has invited Mark Turner on the saxophone (another incredible sound), Charles Altura on electric and acoustic guitar, Ben Street on bass, and Johnathan Blake on drums. Along with this wonderful band, the trumpet player reminds us that he is not only one of the most touching soloists of his generation, but also a famous composer and a precise band leader, collaborative and always listening to his companions. At 72 years old, Harrell teaches us a lesson in jazz perfection. The harmonic and melodic whole he creates on the record should not come as a surprise for anyone aware of Harrell’s background. Band member with Woody Herman, Horace Silver and Phil Woods, sidemen with George Russell, Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan and Charlie Haden, Tom Harrell has recorded more than thirty albums since the end of the 1970’s. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Bebop - Released February 8, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released December 7, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released December 7, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released December 7, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released November 9, 2018 | HighNote Records

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